Terengganu, Malaysia - With the promise of a berth at the World Match Racing Tour’s (WMRT) Championship finale - The Monsoon Cup - on offer for the winner, The Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) has attracted a stellar field of Malaysia’s finest match racers, including two former winners of the MMRC.
The four day event, which starts on Wednesday, 20th October, will feature an intriguing mix of former champions, sibling rivalry and future sailing stars, who will all be desperately battling it out to book their spot at the Monsoon Cup.
Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team), the 2006 and 2007 MMRC winner, is returning in an attempt for a hat-trick of wins, while defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse AC Law), boosted by a major sponsorship deal with Pulse Group PLC and AC Law, a leading corporate law firm, will be bidding for a repeat success.
Hazwan’s new sponsorship deal will allow him to make the ground-breaking step and become the first all-Malaysian team to participate in a WMRT event outside of Malaysia, when they compete in the Korea Match Cup Qualifiers next year.
In addition to having to face off the challenge of Hazwan, Tiffany Koo will also need to get the better of her brother Jeremy (Koo Racing Team Evernew), who was part of his sister’s winning teams in 2006 and 2007. Jeremy showed his skills as skipper when reaching the semi-finals last year and will be looking to add his name alongside his sister’s on the coveted winner’s trophy.
The fight for the prestigious MMRC title and the one qualifying spot for the Monsoon Cup will take place at the purpose built world-class match racing venue of Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, the same venue used for the Monsoon Cup which takes place from 30th November to 5th December.
The six other teams taking part in the MMRC are: Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF1), Rizal Mahadi (RSYC), Mohd Masyuri (MYA), Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya), Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi (Malaysia One) and Jerome Welch (Putrajaya 5 O) – will be out to squash Tiffany and Hazwan in Pulau Duyong.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Koo and Hazwan will come from Nurul, the 2009 Monsoon Sailing School (MSS) Most Promising Sailor, who caught the eye when reaching the MMRC final last year. With another year’s experience under her belt, Nurul could be a big threat this week.
The winners of the MMRC and AMRC will each earn a ticket to the Monsoon Cup, the final race of the WMRT 2010 season. The Monsoon Cup promises to be an exciting climax to the season as five skippers – Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar all have a chance to be crowned World Champion.
Malaysian Match Racing Championship Participants List
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan / Perak (Team Pulse-AC Law)
Jeremy Koo / Royal Selangor Yacht Club (Koo Racing Team- Evernew)
Tiffany Koo / Royal Selangor Yacht Club (Koo Racing Team)
Mohd Razali / Mansor Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF1)
Rizal Mahadi / Royal Selangor Yacht Club (RSYC)
Mohd Masyuri / Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA)
Nurul Elia Anuar / Sail Putrajaya (Sail Putrajaya)
Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi / Malaysian Yachting Association (Malaysia One)
Jerome Welch / Sail Putrajaya (Putrajaya 5 O)
About the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC)
Back in 2006, the Monsoon Cup was the first race to have a series of qualifiers to encourage the participation of young, upcoming local sailors in the professional match race scene. Those qualifiers were the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) and the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC).
From four teams at its inception in 2006, the Malaysian Match Racing Championship has now grown to have 13 local teams taking part in last year's event.
The winner will be the sole Malaysian representative at the Monsoon Cup, the final and deciding leg of the World Match Race Championships. It is a chance to compete with the world’s top match race sailors.
Malaysian Match Racing Championship Winners
2006: Tiffany Koo (MAS) – Team Selangor Gapurna 1
2007: Tiffany Koo (MAS) – UK Halsey Gapurna
2008: Nurul Ain Md Isa (MAS) – Perak Sailing Team
2009: Hazwan Hazim (MAS) - Taring Pelangi